In this sermon, Pastor Neil talks about the Kingdom of God, what the kingdom looks like, and the Christian life. Here are some excerpts:
… We were made for relationships– for relationship with God. When He made us in His image, God designed us to be in relationship with Him. And with each other. I see this truth made visible in the life of the EPC in which we affirm, celebrate, and hold fast to unity in the essentials of the faith, liberty in the non-essentials, and charity – love – in all things, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It is in the ethos, the culture of the EPC, which is a culture of trust, a culture of grace, a culture of love for God, for the church, for one another, and for the world Jesus came to save.
I see it made visible, too, right here in the life of Faith Church. How it blesses my heart to see your love for God! Your trust in and commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord! It blesses my heart to see your love for one another! How it blesses my heart when I see your heart for others – for those who do not yet know the depth of God’s love for them and the power of the gospel for the salvation of anyone and everyone who believes it! How it blesses my heart to see the love of God expressed in your relationships with each other!
By its very design, the church is relational in nature. It is connectional. We were made to be in relationship with God and with others. With one another. Which is why it is such a priority, and such a gift for us to be together in person for worship, fellowship, discipleship, and service in all their forms whenever we are able. Relationships matter. It is apparent… when we meet together as a church family, and when we come together in small groups – in Faith groups, community groups, Sunday School classes, Bible studies, or whatever you call the group you’re a part of. We need each other. We need to be with each other. As we continue to recover from the pandemic, how I pray that we will value and nurture the relationships God has given us in our church family, and welcome others into our fellowship with open arms and open hearts
The kindom of God is a place of grace where Jesus is Lord. Life in the kindom of God is not about trying to make sure the church does the things we want the church to do in the way that we prefer things to be done. Life in the kindom is not about having everything your way (or mine). It is about Jesus having things His way; asking Jesus what He wants us to do or not do; how He wants us to do church, how He wants us to conduct our lives individually and together under His leadership and Lordship. In the kindom of God it is our aim, our goal, our mission, our aspiration to give Jesus the highest place, not just in our prayers and confessions and hymns and worship songs, but in every aspect of our lives.
The kindom of God is a place of grace where every person counts. Every person matters to God. Your age doesn’t matter. It does not matter how old or young you are. Your income level or tax bracket doesn’t matter. The color of your skin doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter where you were born, or what your native language is; what mental or physical challenges you have; what your marital status is, or what kind of car (or truck) you drive. In the kindom of God that is the church, every person counts. Every person matters. Which means, you matter. You matter to God so much that He gave His only Son for you. You matter to Jesus so much that He willingly left heaven to come and suffer and die for you. Sometimes, I’m sorry to say, we drop the ball. Sometimes we fail to show it the way we should. But you really do matter to our church family here at Faith.
We are a family – a spiritual family – in and through the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Kingdom of God. Pastor Neil has a lot more to say about this topic. Please click on the link below to hear the sermon in its entirety.